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The Invisible Black Backdrop Technique - Part #2

Published August 29th, 2012

The exploration of low key photography techniques continue! If you haven't read Part #1 yet make sure to do so here



With the same three metering techniques of an ISO of 100/200, a sync speed of 1/200 and finally an aperture of f/5.6 all kept constant throughout my trials and experimentation of low key photography. This time however instead of playing around with poor lighting substitutions such as lamps and torches that I used previously in Part #1 I used an external light source - a flash gun.



The flash gun I bought (seen in the first picture below this post) was a YONGNUO speedlite YN560 which was purchased for around £49.99 at the time, so not as expensive as official speedlites by Canon or Sigma which would cost me over £100, hence being extremely suitable for me.



The first step when using the flash gun was of course to set it up, this involved inserting it into the hot-shoe and turning it on so it would wirelessly connect to the camera itself. It was just then a process of trial and error to set up the speedlite itself at a certain zoom, mode and output power as well as making sure the commander flash on the camera didn't effect the original image. After some frustrated fiddling I managed to set up the speedlite on mode S/2 for synchronisation, with a zoom of 50mm since I was using a 50mm lens at the time for taking portraits and finally a power output of 50 on the flash gun which was equivalent to 1/4 of flash output.



The second step was the actual positioning of the subject, using relative composition and by placing the flash gun to the left or right of the subject, ensuring the background was at a sufficient distances from my subject I was able to reproduce a photograph with low key elements.



After reviewing the images, despite its successfulness I still think I need to work on positioning and the flash output to produce an even more dramatised image often found in low key photography!



I'll keep you up to date with how things are progressing as I learn and try to master such techniques, however for now here are my latest shots.

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YONGNUO YN560

  • August 29th, 2012
  • Canon EOS 600D
  • 50mm / f/1.8 / 1/15 sec
8a42f39dc928256ef9ef20079a1907d4

BCD001

Subject: Bradley Curley

Read more about my low key photography experience here,

Martin Fu 2012 ©

  • August 30th, 2012
  • Canon EOS 600D
  • 50mm / f/10 / 1/200 sec
6512b9664db9cf7968a2d1ab249ead8b

BCD002

Subject: Bradley Curley

Read more about my low key photography experience here,

Martin Fu 2012 ©

  • August 30th, 2012
  • Canon EOS 600D
  • 50mm / f/10 / 1/200 sec
0aee8e3e7f959fb4553c2d67ac92526b

EHD001

Subject: Ellery Hodson

Read more about my low key photography experience here.

Martin Fu 2012 ©

  • August 30th, 2012
  • Canon EOS 600D
  • 50mm / f/10 / 1/200 sec

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EdwardKemp
Edward Kemp  about 3 years ago
0
Awesome, def going to use this technique in the future!!